EURUSD still depends on dollar sentiment

EURUSD still depends on dollar sentiment

BRENT CRUDE OIL TVC:UKOIL


EURUSD             declined last week after three weeks of gains. The pair looks neutral on Monday, changing hands around the 1.17 threshold, which serves as the key barrier for short-term buyers. USD index looks quite stable, but has started the week mainly on the back foot, which raises a chance for a more sustainable rebound in the single currency.

The general sentiment around the greenback remains the key river for the pair. As trade-war fears have abated somewhat, the overall sentiment in the global financial markets remains cautious, which supports safe-haven USD demand. In the short term, US June retail sales data will be in market focus. Should the numbers disappoint, the euro             could regain the 1.17 mark and target the 1.1760 area which comes as the intermediate resistance on the way to 1.18. As long as the price remains below this barrier, downside risks will prevail.

As the broader picture shows, EURUSD             remains within a bearish trend , and there is a risk of a decline towards the lows around 1.15 as the buck could regain the impetus due to trade-war jitters and further “hawkish” signals from the Fed down the road.

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

When the indictment of Russian intelligence officers for interfering with the US election broke, the recriminations were swift. Not only had the 12 allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee, but they’d had the temerity to do so using servers paid with cryptocurrency. When politicians and mainstream media began finger pointing, they had only one culprit to blame – bitcoin.

Also read: Russia Now Has a Registry of Whitelisted Crypto Companies

Bitcoin is Tried and Convicted in the Court of Public Opinion

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II wasted no time in castigating the “crypto industry” for its role in the DNC hack. The fact that Russians had apparently used bitcoin to cover their tracks was of more concern than the numerous other failings that the indictment revealed, like the inability of Democrats to detect basic phishing attempts, or of DNC admins to detect the X-Agent malware that was installed. No, the biggest takeaway from all this was that bitcoin had facilitated one of the gravest nation state-orchestrated crimes in years.

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

As the detailed indictment against the Russian dozen reveals, however, bitcoin didn’t exactly enable the accused to cover their tracks. In fact, despite the extraordinary lengths they had gone to, bitcoin left an indelible trail that led right back to Russia, which the blockchain had gift-wrapped and handed to US investigators. The dozen accused purchased BTC on P2P exchanges, as well as mining the cryptocurrency themselves to pay for web hosting of dcleaks.com, and a VPN with which to operate the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account. But this didn’t stop US officials from reconstructing the attackers’ every move, aided by the permanent record that the blockchain provides.

Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cognitive Dissonance

Chainalysis is a blockchain forensics company that is detested by many bitcoiners for its willingness to work hand-in-glove with law enforcement, helping to convict cryptocurrency users of victimless crimes such as the purchase of narcotics for personal use. Its co-founder, Jonathan Levin, despatched a trademark anti-bitcoin soundbite for CNBC, stating: “The fact that cryptocurrencies are global and real time means that you might only find out about these things after the fact. We need to think about the responsibilities that we all have in a world where payments move seamlessly across borders in the blink of an eye.”

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement
Wired

Meanwhile, Wired, a publication that once mined 13 BTC and then inexplicably destroyed the wallet, issued a typical hit piece against bitcoin in its reporting of the hack. It began: “Bitcoin is a pain to spend. It is energy-guzzling, perilously slow and, with the prospect of dazzling returns (at least until recently), perhaps best to HODL ‘til you retire. But Bitcoin can count at least one group of spendthrifts among its users: Russian hackers accused of hacking in the 2016 election.”

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement

Wading through the hyperbole, one could be forgiven for thinking that bitcoin had single-handedly phished John Podesta, hacked the DNC, brought down the Democrats, and swung the election for Trump.

Is Bitcoin a Help or a Hindrance to Criminals?

Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law EnforcementAnyone reading MSM reporting of the event, or the screeching from various congressmen, may have been left confused as to bitcoin’s role in the DNC hack. Did it enable Russian agents to commit the crime or did it enable law enforcement to catch them? The answer lies somewhere in between. There is no doubt that bitcoin is used by criminals. It’s been used to purchase all sorts of things that from a legal, if not a moral, standpoint are illicit. Like all currencies, bitcoin is also used for money laundering.

Whether bitcoin helps or hinders criminals depends, to a large extent, on the nature of the crime. If you’re buying a bit of weed on the deep web, even the most zealous of Chainalysis apparatchiks isn’t going to concern themselves with tracing your transaction. Law enforcement won’t give a damn either. If you’re perpetrating the most notorious hack of the decade, however, too right you’re gonna have your BTC purchases forensically analyzed. Had the Russian hackers used a stolen Paypal account or disposable Visa to go shopping, law enforcement would have had much less data to go on, and would have encountered greater difficulty in reconstructing the hackers’ actions.

To answer the question then, bitcoin is a pretty good tool for committing low level crime, where a basic degree of anonymity is required. But when it comes to committing major crimes that are sure to be scrutinized, not only is bitcoin bad for criminals – it’s downright dangerous.

Do you think bitcoin is a help or a hindrance to criminals? Let us know in the comments section below.


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There Is An Increase In Awareness And Usage Of Bitcoin In Canada

There has been a significant increase in awareness and usage of Bitcoin (BTC) among Canadians. This is according to a report released by the country’s central bank. According to the survey, ownership of bitcoin in the country has more than doubled over the last one year. The Bank of Canada carried out the survey, dubbed Bitcoin [BTC] Omnibus Survey [BTCOS] so as to understand whether there was an increase in the adoption and usage of the currency.

Results of the survey

2,500 people participated in the Bitcoin Omnibus Survey which was conducted in December last year. At the time, Bitcoin had hit its highest price, trading at around $20,000. In the survey, the Bank of Canada found that 5% of the people in the country had bitcoin in 2017. This is an increased from 2.9% of the population who held bitcoin in 2016.

Additionally, according to the survey, there is a general increase in knowledge and awareness about Bitcoin. The survey shows that 85% of the people in the country had knowledge about the coin by the end of 2017. This is an increase from the 64% of the population who were aware of the coin at the end of 2016.

Investment in Bitcoin increase

According to the survey, there is an increase in the number of people who view bitcoin as an investment. In fact many cited this as the main reason for owning bitcoin. Initially, bitcoin was seen as an instrument of transaction. 58% of those interviewed said they own bitcoin because they believe prices will go up. In 2016, only 12% owned bitcoin with hopes of price increase.

Peer pressure and the Fear of Missing (FOMO) are also to major drivers of the adoption of bitcoin. 12% of the respondents said they own bitcoin because their friends own bitcoin.

However, bitcoin holding among Canadians is still very low as 32% of the respondents own less than 0.1 BTC and 34% have less than 0.05 BTC.

The Bank has justified its reasons for having keen interest in cryptocurrecies, indicating that it is only interested in exploring the effects it has to the economy and the financial system.

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Bitcoin stuck in limbo

Bitcoin stuck in limbo

Bitcoin / Dollar BITFINEX:BTCUSD


BTCUSD             had a viable weekend, with the pair has appreciated and thus has trimmed its weekly losses. Nevertheless, the coin remains stuck in limbo, being shut in a limited range of $6,000-$6,400 for the last six days. The market obviously lacks fresh catalysts and headlines to stage a more vivid movement in either direction.

The digital currency returned most of its previous July gains last week, mainly due to some negative comments by prominent names and another exchange hack. Besides, US authorities arraigned twelve Russian officials for using the virtual currency in interfering with the 2016 elections. All these developments derail the buyers’ attempts to push the price of bitcoin             out of the boring range.

Technically, the coin shows some signs of bullishness as the price remains reluctant to get below the $6,000 key immediate support. Therefore, should the upcoming week doesn’t bring fresh negative developments and headlines, BTCUSD             could try to challenge the $6,400 region which has been limiting the recovery attempts since last week.

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

South African financial company Purple Group has confirmed the addition of two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, to its online trading platform. According to a representative, the decision came in response to strong demand from clients earlier this year. The move has expanded the trading options for South Africans, many of whom, according to a recent study, still believe a lot of money can be made from crypto investments.

Also read: Switzerland’s Main Stock Exchange Dives Deep Into Crypto

GT247.com Trades Bitcoin and Ethereum

Purple Group, a South African financial services provider listed on the JSE, has added cryptocurrencies to its online trading platform, GT247.com, allowing its users to buy bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), local media reported. The decision came in response to strong demand from its customers. Barry Dumas, trading specialist at the group, emphasized that GT247.com allows clients to trade directly in South African rand. “Your rands aren’t converted into dollars like some offerings out there, which can expose you to exchange risks,” he told Business Day.

Purple Group’s representative also noted that despite the decline in cryptocurrency trading volumes over the past months, the platform has seen serious interest mostly from retail clients since the launch of the service earlier this year. “We are seeing a lot more engagement from international institutions like banks and international exchanges looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, as I suspect they want it to be a legitimate asset class in the future,” he pondered.

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

Taking into account the current state of crypto markets, Purple Group also allows its clients to short the large cap coins, which means investors can benefit from falling prices as well. Barry Dumas pointed out, however, that according to the trading data and the strong buying interest, most clients are expecting higher prices. “We are seeing a decent spread between the bulls and bears but the bitcoin bias in the market is still to be long,” the trading specialist said.

Dumas also commented on the current trends and confirmed indications that the market is starting to stabilize. “We still see some volatility but it’s not at the levels we saw last year,” he noted. In his opinion, the reasons for that have to do with traders becoming accustomed to the crypto market and the developments towards regulating the space.

More Crypto Trading Options Offered

South Africans can also buy cryptos on local crypto exchanges like Luno and Ice3x, as well as via the local desks of international brokerage houses such as Saxo Bank. Another South African investment management company, Sygnia Ltd., announced a couple of months ago its plans to launch a crypto exchange in Q3, 2018. First National Bank is also exploring what it calls “sustainable options” to facilitate crypto trades with a growing number of its customers asking about them.

A recently released report suggests that the interest and the willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies remain relatively high among South Africans. According to the 2018 “Savings and Investment Monitor” survey, conducted by the Pan-African investment bank Old Mutual, 38 percent of the country’s residents, those aware of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, wish they had invested.

SA Purple Group Confirms Adding Cryptos to Its Online Trading Platform

A sizable majority, 71 percent, agreed that a lot of money can still be made from crypto investments. Only 43 percent of the respondents have negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies and liken them to pyramid schemes. Measuring the general awareness of cryptocurrency in South Africa, the survey shows that 19 percent have heard of bitcoin, 17 percent admit they “know a bit about it”, and 4 percent “know a lot” about the cryptocurrency.

The Republic of South Africa is the country with the highest number of crypto trading platforms on the continent. The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing steadily, and so have the efforts of authorities in Pretoria to come up with regulations. The South African Reserve Bank has recently set up a unit tasked to review its position on cryptocurrencies and a “self-regulatory” approach has been previously suggested by legal experts working in the sector. Speaking to reporters, a high-ranking official of the central bank said in May that SARB does not use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ but refers to cryptos as ‘cyber tokens’ because they don’t meet the requirements of money.

Do you expect South Africa to regulate the crypto space, including trading, in the near future? Tells us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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